Having a good turkeys house is important if you plan on raising such birds. While their fencing and housing is similar to those made for chickens, they are not completely identical. Here are some things to consider before you start.
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Details About Enclosures
When designing an enclosure for turkeys you don’t forget that these birds are large and as a result they need more space than chickens. Additionally, turkeys like to spend a lot of time outdoors, regardless of weather. As such you must plan a pen that allows your birds to stay outside, but they also need some shelter.
Many people forget about the fact that turkeys also need protection against predators, despite them being on the bigger side. You have to make sure that the turkey coops are high enough because turkeys will fly if there is the chance or reason. Some people say that it has to be at least 4 feet high, and that a 75 x 75 feet enclosure will suffice for up to 12 turkeys.
Separators Between Pens
Even if you have enough space and safety from predators for your turkeys, your building job isn’t over. It’s best to have separate pens for different kind of birds. For instance, chickens and turkeys should always live separately or they will fight and could even kill one another.
If a bird get sick or injured, you’ll want to separate it from the others. Luckily divisions are easy to set up as long as the previous guidelines are followed. When raising turkeys for meat, some farmers like to keep the males and females separated as well.
Perching For Turkeys
Turkeys like to stay perched and they do so even in the daytime. What you don’t know is that these animals like to fight for the highest spot and if you want to avoid this, roosts built at the same level is key. You should know that keeping the roosts in the same place is not ideal as manure will accumulate in the same spot. To avoid this, many people use a moving perching system. Skids and wheels are the most commonly used solutions for movable roosts. You might want to avoid the accumulation because the turkeys housing should always be clean.
Keep Their Area Secure
You must ensure the sides of the housing is solid enough as not to be easily destroyed either by the weather or the birds themselves. The roof can be made of fiberglass or anything else that can provide shelter from the rain or too much sun. If you have hen turkeys with babies, you’ll want to keep them separated from the other turkeys at first. All you have to do is design another smaller pen inside the bigger enclosure.
Usually there’s a fence surrounding the turkey shelter, as mentioned earlier. There are many types of fences that you can use as long as predators can’t climb or dig their way inside. Topping the fence with a net or using electric poultry netting are other popular solutions widely used by farmers to protect their turkeys.
There are 2 other features turkeys need and haven’t been mentioned: access to range and dust bath. Some turkey owners provide their birds with more than one area for fresh pasture and dust bathing. If you don’t have many turkeys, 1 or 2 such places might be enough.
In conclusion, the best turkey pens should have or offer:
- shelter from the elements
- protection from predators
- range and dust bathing access
- plenty of space
Take care of your poultry and the results will be more than excellent! Good luck!